The Belarusian Pirates’ First Journey in 2013
The Pirate Party in Belarus (PPBY) is about a year old. This makes it possible to observe some developments and priorities in “the country of blue lakes and potato beetles” which is located in the geographical center of Europe. The international coordinator of PPBY, Michael Volchek, gives some insight into their party.
At the end of 2012 pirates in Belarus launched the website, pirates.by, and gave it a name – The Pirates’ Center. During the past year the website was collecting announcements, knowledge from around the world and translations of articles from piratetimes.net.
In the beginning of 2013 PPBY started acting in a public way and chose the enlightenment strategy in order to create the pirate movement base. They took part in different conferences, camps and lectures in different belarusian cities (Minsk, Brest, Vitebsk) as well as abroad. They opened various pirates party sections that helped to stress and actualize digital human rights.
Belarusian pirates started learning and spreading Creative Common free licences, developed free software communities and constructed ideological parts for the Belarusian pirate organization. Speaking about Creative Commons, the Belarusian pirates systematically, through a step-by-step approach, opened and spread knowledge about these legal tools to implement a smooth copyright reform. In the second part of 2013 PPBY participated in the Creative Commons affiliate foundation in Belarus.
Pirates devoted a big part of their work and time to the cryptoparty branch of the party. As a result of this, about 150 people from different regions participated in these events. The knowledge about information security and net safety was shared at cryptoparties. The main motto of the events was to state that a cyber security is a fundamental right of every citizen.
It’s necessary to emphasize the pirates activity in media. They participated and co-organized different interviews, discussions, issued some pilot podcasts, participated in tv programs (where the belarusian pirates explained to a large audience about their position regarding copyright and patent barriers) and they created an economical regulation in the area of free open-source software in the public sector and the transparency of rules by which society is governed.
Pirates tend to increase the transparency of their internal life and development. All minutes are published on open walls. The pirate community’s organization wiki is filled with knowledge and information which everyone can review on the Net.
Pirates are constantly organizing audio online-conferences with pirates and internet activists from other countries (Czech, Germany, Ukraine, Baltic region, Russia, Finland, Catalunia etc) to find new partners and to achieve the community stability at international level. They support ANTIPRISM campaign, and russian internet strike and other. This activity increased awareness of the belarusian pirates abroad.
Last year the belarusian pirates became an ordinary member of two international organizations. The first one is the Pirate Parties International. This organization consists of about 40 countries, and Belarus is represented by The Pirates Center. Last summer pirates took part in constituent assembly of organization of Young Pirate of Europe and became a co-founder. There are 9 countries in the YPE now and where Belarus is represented by youth organization “Falanaster” (This is a pro-pirate organization from Minsk.).
Pirate Trends of 2014
This winter pirates start the “linuxavization” campaign. They motivate the Linux community to help users in changing their operative system from Windows to Linux. The campaign will finish with a big Linux party with the title “Windows Failed” on April 8th.
Next summer they want to continue to support the Creative Commons affiliate development. They want to create different lectures and promo production, to renew juridical club in Minsk which has aim to create a new authors’ rights convention for Belarus.
During 2014 they want to hold a constitutional assembly, and to found the pirate NGO and get official status. They want to actively participate in public life but before creating a political entity they’ve decided to develop a civil initiative based on the same principles.
In the nearest future pirates consider the question of electromagnetic waves freedom which restricts the development of non-commercial wifi networks in Belarus.
Summarizing above mentioned, the Belaruse Pirates are going to extend their geographic reach to different cities and to strengthen international relationship. They invite pirates from other countries to Belarus.
About the author
Mikhail Volchek. A web-developer. A Freelancer. A co-creator of several social initiatives. In 2009 he has started to track the pirate movement in the world, and has decided that this side should be opened to modern Belarus. Since 2012 he has actively been participating in the local pirate movement. He is an international coordinator of The Pirates Center and a spokesman of the Belarusian pirates. He’s studying law at Belarusian State University now.
All images are CC-BY-SA pirates.by.